NBA, TV Partners Sign $24 Billion Deal

9:05am: Commissioner Adam Silver also confirmed the arrangement in a press conference streamed via NBA.com, and the NBA has released a statement, too.

MONDAY, 8:40am: ABC/ESPN and Turner Sports, the subsidiary of Time Warner, have confirmed the deal in separate releases that detail their TV coverage plans. The NBA has a press conference scheduled shortly to discuss the new TV package.

SUNDAY, 10:30pm: One reason this NBA TV deal has such a high price tag is that by doing it prior to the existing agreements ending, it prevented FOX and NBC from making a play to secure broadcast rights, Tim Bontemps of The New York Post tweets.

9:36pm: The NBA and its television partners have agreed to a new nine-year deal, report Ben Cohen and Shalini Ramachandran of The Wall Street Journal report in a subscription-only piece. The combined annual rights fees that ABC/ESPN and Time Warner will pay surge from approximately $930MM to around $2.66 billion, tweets Richard Sandomir of The New York Times, making the full value of the arrangement $24 billion, as Sandomir notes in a full story. The deal kicks in for 2016/17 and runs through 2024/25.

The move had been expected, as John Lombardo and John Ourand of Sports Business Daily reported last month, though the fee is larger than the roughly $2 billion annual figure that seemed likely at the time. The increase appears to put the league in position to raise the salary cap even higher than anticipated, and in September some teams were already projecting that the cap, at $63.065MM this season, would leap to $80MM by the 2016/17 season, according to Grantland’s Zach Lowe. It’s unclear whether the league will phase in any such jump beginning with next season’s cap, or if the TV rights deal is backloaded, possibilities that Lowe heard had been in play.

The agreement also stands to affect the market value of franchises, particularly with at least part of the Nets on the market, as well as the league’s labor negotiations. The NBA and the players union each have an opt-out clause in the summer of 2017, and it seemed highly likely even before the TV deal that one or both sides would elect to get out of the existing CBA.

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[…] NBA’s new television deal will help with the Guggenheim-Nets talks, Robert Windrem of NetsDaily notes (Twitter link). […]

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1 year 11 months ago
it should be interesting to see what happens with a salary cap increase as dramatic as what has been reported. Players will be able to take less and still make tons of money. It could have an issue on parity. More super teams will likely come about. I also think it will seriously effect small market teams, as they probably wont be as willing to come up to the salary cap. This is one of the other reasons why I think these new proposed rules for the draft are totally ridiculous. Small market teams are going to be most effected.… Read more »
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